DTM: Norisring preview
Third round of DTM will be held this weekend at Norisring and main question before the start is could anybody stop Audi’s winning streak.
Audi drivers won all four races in this season at Hockenheim and Lausitzring, leaving Mercedes-Benz and BMW happy if they manage to win a place at podium. Jamie Green (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) won three races and have comfortable lead in the overall standings with an 17 points advantage in front of Mattias Ekstrom and Edoardo Mortara, both drivers of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline.
Green is again considered as main candidate for win as Norisring track suits his driving style: “First of all there are the special characteristics of Norisring, the top speed is crucial. I’m braking very late and apparently, the street circuit with its high speeds seems to suit this style of driving particularly well. In addition, you have to drive extremely precisely and constantly, between the walls and crash barriers,” said Green who won four races in Nuremberg.
Pascal Wehrlein lies on fourth place in the championship after four races. In meantime, talented Mercedes-Benz driver has completed Formula 1 test at Spielberg and that can motivate him to push even harder in DTM, so maybe he could be the one who will break Audi’s domination. He already finished as a runner-up in the first race of the season and proved he could be very competitive.
Norisring was one of the three DTM races that Mercedes-Benz won in 2014. Canadian Robert Wickens was the fastest at 2.3 kilometres track last year, so they could build their optimism on that result, with a hope to be placed among the top three in at least one race.
BMW had disappointing start of the DTM season, mainly because of the problem to adapt to the new standard tyres. Bavarian manufacturer is still searching for the place at podium and their best placed driver after four races is Maxime Martin who stands on eighth place in the DTM championship. Reigning champion Marco Wittmann was nothing more than solid in the two opening races, but just as Wehrlein, he could get confidence boost after completing Formula 1 tests at Spielberg with Toro Rosso: “This was a dream come true. The test for Toro Rosso certainly will be a unique experience as when I was a little boy I already dreamed of sitting at the wheel of a Formula 1 car,” told Wittmann before the weekend at Norisring.
BMW wasn’t successful at Norisring in 2014 as Wittmann’s sixth place was their best result. Keeping this in mind, expectations this time are not high and closing the gap to their DTM rivals could be main focus.
The Norisring is a street circuit in Nuremberg, last of a kind in Germany, and hosting of DTM race is the main event. Lap record holder is Bruno Spengler who set a time 0:48.446 in Mercedes-Benz at DTM race in 2008. As a pretty short and quite simple track with small number of turns, Norisring still could be very tricky, but undoubtely it is very popular for both drivers and fans.